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1/32 Scratchbuilt B-17 Fortress - update 27th July - painting

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*update 14th August 2013*


Hi guys!  Well, that special moment has come where I realized there is little more I can add to the Fort. So as of now, I am calling it 99% done!  There's a couple of aerials I can add, plus I need to detail the large radio room roof window (removable on the real thing so I'll have it removed & lying on the ground).  So I'm going to post up some pics - I'd really appreciate it if you find any glaring errors to let me know - now is the time to fix them!  I've got just under 3 months until the Nationals and next up will be the diorama - which means buying / creating / painting some figures and doing some groundwork.


Until the diorama is complete I can't call the Fortress 'complete' really as everything is interconnected... so once I really have finished I'll create a 'ready for inspection' thread - with the moderators' permission of course as strictly speaking this isn't just an LSP build.  I will be updating the 'non-LSP works' thread about the wrecker / trailer with some diorama build pics etc. in the coming weeks..


OK - to business.


One of the very few parts I cannibalized from the HK Models test shot I had was the tail wheel assembly - HK provides this with a bulged tyre, so, I simply built up the bulged bit again with plastic card & blended it in:




Here it is attached - dust & dirt added from MiG pigments:




I also needed to make the rear crew access door, which I did from a piece of pewter & some heat-formed plastic card - here it is prior to painting & window installation:




And in place:




My reference pics showed the real Fort fuselages resting on a tonne of wooden dunnage & other crap on the back of the trailer - I replicated this effect with some chopped up balsa (bulk buy from the Model Zone liquidation sale!) - stained with oils & drybrushed etc it makes a nice cradle for the fuselage to sit on:




The fuselage was attached to the trailer with a suitable screw - I drilled right through the bottom of the trailer into the bomb bay - as this area is hidden & un-detailed it was no biggie:




Waist gun windows were made with clear thermaform which was bent to shape after immersion in boiling water.  It took a few attempts but I was (kind of) happy with the results.  I had a full set of transparencies - two actually - from the HK kit, but unfortunately, as discussed in earlier posts, my build and the kit don't match up in terms of dimensions...

It looks horribly distorted & dusty here (damned macro images!) but in real life if  about as clear as I can get it.  The waist guns were mounted at the same time.  I attached those with normal plastic cement, and the transparencies with Gator's Grip Acrylic glue (good stuff!):






Before the fuselage was attached to the trailer, I of course has to finish the painting & weathering.  I wasn't happy with the decals, so I hand painted everything except the pin-up girl.  Here's the name & mission markings - the name was painted using the custom masks, the mission markings and all gun-station names were painted freehand.




And here's the pin-up girl.  I was happy with the decal for this one, and in the end got it looking nice! It was semi-transparent & shows up the weathering of the aircraft's skin nicely for a realistic effect.  I sealed it in (and at the same time sprayed the entire front section) with Testor's Dullcote for a nice, flat finish.



Final details like these formation lights and the antenna were added:




That final skin panel was attached:




and the top turret finally fixed in place:




The problem of the vac kit's crappy astrodome was fixed when I found out that this was sometimes retrofitted in the field with a flat piece of perspex (also note in front of that another piece salvaged from the HK kit, namely the AN/ARR-1 antenna)




I also attached one of the final pieces, the Norden bombsight.  I scratched the hot air defrosting pipe system as well, which is always missing from restored aircraft (and the HK kit incidentally) - the nose transparency is from the vac kit - I wasn't at all happy with its clarity, and even with a couple of coats of Klear it doesn't loook great...oh well.  At least it fits!  I had a spare HK one which I smashed up and tried to replicate the same effect - unfortunately it's extremely thick (and also has the correct profile and shape - something I'm afraid mine doesn't) so it doesn't really fit onto my kit's nose...


This pic also shows the chin turret attached.  I made the flash eliminators for the guns from rolled up bits of pewter. On the real aircraft, these were added as early Fort crews found the continued flash & shock from firing those big guns could crack the nose glass.




I also kind of solved a problem I had with the destroyed tail cone - if you look inside there's a big void where no doubt I could have added some more detail.  I created a bunch of cabling to hang down from the ceiling and made sure the twisted metal hid a lot of what's visible.  Nevertheless, if you look inside in strong enough light I think you can see a pleasing enough representation of what's really there...in any case I'm happy with it:




Right - enough teasing!  Here's some walkaround pics, taken in natural light...






































That's about it for now...  as I say I will be updating the trailer/truck build thread with progress shots from the diorama.


Oh yes - I will be securing the Fort to the trailer with some chains / tie downs / ratchets or what have you - can't just have it sitting there!


Until next time, thanks for looking



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